Texas HERO is a non-profit organization that exists to promote higher standards of performance quality for Energy Efficiency Professionals.
We do this by providing technical expertise, certification and standards development, training, tools and quality assurance for industry stakeholders interested in high performing new and existing homes and buildings.
EPA is requesting comments on the ENERGY STAR® draft Version 3.1 program requirements through December 20, 2013
December 3, 2013
A draft version of the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes program requirements, Version 3.1, has been developed for homes in states that have adopted the 2012 IECC, or equivalent. The purpose of this new version is to ensure that the ENERGY STAR certified homes program will continue to deliver meaningful savings relative to non-certified homes in states with this more rigorous code.
With the State Energy Conservation Office considering adoption of the 2012 or 2015 International Energy Codes, this will impact the ENERGY STAR Builders here in Texas in the future.
The EPA is requesting comments on the draft Version 3.1 program requirements from November 20, 2013 through December 20, 2013. These program requirements are defined in the following two documents, while the third document provides supplemental information.
There will be an EPA hosted webinar held at 2:00 pm on Thursday, December 5th, that will provide an overview of these documents. Register Here
All stakeholder comments and questions should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org using the Stakeholder Comment Form
Please note that only comments submitted on this form will be accepted and that EPA will publicly post a compilation of all comments received. If a stakeholder wishes to remain anonymous, please indicate this when emailing the form to EPA.
Once the comment period is closed, EPA will review the comments and develop responses and revisions with the intent to finalize the guidelines in the first quarter of 2014.
RESNET to Undertake Effort to Increase National Consistency of Ratings
December 3, 2013: RESNET Notice, Steve Baden
Across the nation the RESNET HERS Index Score is fast becoming a mainstream in the housing market. Homebuilders are having their homes energy rated and marketing the HERS Index Score of their homes, Multiple Listing Services (MLS) are incorporating the HERS Index Scores in their listings and code jurisdictions are recognizing a HERS Index Score as a building energy code compliance option. With the increased visibility of the HERS Index Score RESNET is obligated to ensure that HERS Index Scores are as consistent as possible.
This need has been made more important with the International Code Council adopting an Energy Rating Index option to the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code.
To achieve this goal RESNET formed the HERS Index Score Consistency Task Force. Members of the task force were representatives of the nation’s largest production builders, rating software tool developers and Rating Providers. The task force presented to the RESNET Board a set of findings and recommendations.
Read The Task Force Report
The RESNET Board voted to create a RESNET Quality Improvement Task Force composed of representatives of Rating Providers, Quality Assurance Designees, Rating Companies and homebuilders that would develop recommendations to the RESNET Board to implement the policies.
RESNET developed a factsheet on the process that they will follow in developing the changes to the RESNET procedures.
Read The Fact Sheet
Since the changes that they will adopt could have a dramatic effect on the rating industry in Texas, Texas HERO will be keeping our members informed in order to comment on each phase of the process.
We will be holding a members call on December 10th at 10:00 AM. For more information on the call, contact: Kim Sitton at email@example.com
The Future of Energy Audits in Texas Continues to Develop
Texas Department of Licensing and Registration (TDLR) - Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Advisory Board held an open forum meeting in Austin November 13th, 2013.
December 3, 2013
The meeting was well attended by Texas HERO members and supporters, including State agencies and other non-profit energy efficiency organizations.
As you may be aware in January 2012, the ACRC Board began an inquiry into the effect energy audits were having on the HVAC industry. They held an open forum meeting in July of 2012, were Texas HERO testified to the many HVAC related issues our members had encountered while performing audits and the value our members provide home builders, buyers and owners. In response, the ACRC Board ruled in September 2012, that anyone providing recommendations regarding: equipment sizing, duct repair (sealing leakage) or recommending SEER, AFUE, or HSPF changes would be required to be a HVAC License holder.
During the meeting, TDLR staff reviewed the history of the new construction energy efficiency requirements. These included the adoption of the International Energy Conservation Code and the ENERGY STAR program. Texas HERO submitted an outline and ENERGY STAR v3 checklists and they were reviewed in the meeting. During the meeting the ACCA Texas representative's stated, new construction was not an issue and suggested the effort should be directed toward existing homes. They also suggested that prior to another summit, Texas HERO and ACCA Texas staff would meet and attempt to work out a solution to the issues, as the HVAC and Energy Efficiency industries see them. The TDLR staff agreed, as did the stake holders present.
Texas HERO staff will meet with the ACCA Texas staff in mid-December to discuss moving forward with a limited stakeholders group, consisting of those who will be affected by the TDRL rules.
Texas HERO will continue to work to insure our industry will be able to measure and verify a home’s energy efficiency performance, including the HVAC system, and provide that information to a homeowner.
Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks.
Watch the November 14th, 2013 meeting here. You will need Real Player to view it.
For the history of our efforts please go to 83rd Legislature where you can watch the TDRL ACR meetings.
Texas HERO has been working with the TDLR and other stakeholders since last September to protect the interest of the Energy Efficiency professionals in Texas. We were unsuccessful in our attempt to secure a legal exemption, by creating a registry of Energy Efficiency Professionals in the last legislative session. Since then we have been attempting to clearly define what energy efficiencies professionals can provide homeowners, without fear of being fined for their services. Our efforts have resulted in continued dialogue with the TDLR staff and now with the ACRC board.